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[dood-l] /ˈdud l/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), doodled, doodling.
to draw or scribble idly:
He doodled during the whole lecture.
to waste (time) in aimless or foolish activity.
Dialect. to deceive; cheat.
a design, figure, or the like, made by idle scribbling.
Archaic. a foolish or silly person.
Origin of doodle1
1935-40, Americanism; orig. sense, fool (noun)
Related forms
doodler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for doodling
  • But listening to certain sounds while writing or doodling or knitting while listening can actually improve attention and focus.
  • He spends much of lunch hinting at a new business venture and doodling in ballpoint on my place mat.
  • He picks up a pencil, begins alternately doodling and hitting the redial button.
  • Nonsensical doodling is usually not the stuff of career advancement.
  • Keep your hands busy by nibbling on healthy foods, doodling, or making a list of tasks for the day.
  • Nervous mannerisms such as twisting your hair, doodling, or raising your eyebrows are also distracting.
  • Or maybe they were bored and added interest to their workday by doodling.
  • You'd almost think it was somebody doodling or something.
British Dictionary definitions for doodling


to scribble or draw aimlessly
to play or improvise idly
(US) (intransitive) often foll by away. to dawdle or waste time
a shape, picture, etc, drawn aimlessly
Derived Forms
doodler, noun
Word Origin
C20: perhaps from C17 doodle a foolish person, but influenced in meaning by dawdle; compare Low German dudeltopf simpleton
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for doodling



"scrawl aimlessly," 1935, from dialectal doodle, dudle "fritter away time, trifle," or associated with dawdle. It was a noun meaning "simple fellow" from 1620s.

LONGFELLOW: That's a name we made up back home for people who make foolish designs on paper when they're thinking. It's called doodling. Almost everybody's a doodler. Did you ever see a scratch pad in a telephone booth? People draw the most idiotic pictures when they're thinking. Dr. Von Holler, here, could probably think up a long name for it, because he doodles all the time. ["Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," screenplay by Robert Riskin, 1936; based on "Opera Hat," serialized in "American Magazine" beginning May 1935, by Clarence Aldington Kelland]
Related: Doodled; Doodling.
Doodle Sack. A bagpipe. Dutch. -- Also the private parts of a woman. ["Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1796]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for doodling



Idle playing; fool around, noodling: When Sinatra entered the wings, the doodling ceased (1970s+)


  1. Wretched material; shit: How can he write such doodle?
  2. The penis •A child's term (1780s+)
  1. To cheat; swindle; diddle (1823+)
  2. To make drawings and patterns while sitting at a meeting, talking on the telephone, etc: From your doodling, the shrink sees what's in your noodle (1935+)
  3. To defecate •Also doo-doo: dog doodled in the yard
Related Terms

dipsy-doodle, whangdoodle, whoop-de-do

[second sense apparently coined by Robert Riskin, screenwriter for the movie Mr Deeds Goes to Town; third sense perhaps fr doo, childish word for ''shit'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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